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HISTORY AS A  BRANCH
OF LITERATURE

IT was long the custom for the more self-consciously
scientific school of historians of the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries to aggrandise themselves
by asserting that their more serious kind of historical
study was a thing of recent origin* This whole branch
of learning had been held back, according to their
allegations, by the fact that hitherto it had been regarded
as a mere form of literature. The opponents of the
dryly academic school of writers have in turn been only
too content to allow the discussion to take place on the
basis thus provided—a basis which helped no doubt to
flatter even their self-esteem as well (though in a some-
what different way) and assisted them in what perhaps
were little aggressions of a gentler sort. Professor
Trevelyan may make the remark with a different innu-
endo, but he too, for example, is willing to say that
until comparatively recent times history was regarded
as a branch of literature. When hostile parties happen

H.H.R.                          -   ,    22J                              '          P'